Campaign

Press Release

January 27, 2022

Support Hunger Striking Political Prisoners - Free All Political Prisoners Now!

U.S. Aggression, Threats, Sanctions

January 27, 2022

Larry Everest (202) 935-1652
FreeIransPoliticalPrisonersNow.org
Twitter @IranPrisonEmerg
Interviews available

"The International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners Now (IEC) gives our full, heartfelt support to Iran's heroic political prisoners and others who are on hunger strike," says IEC spokesperson Larry Everest. "They are risking their lives fighting for freedom and justice for all political prisoners, and for the Iranian people. We demand that the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) free all its political prisoners now!"

This hunger strike was triggered by the January 8 death of beloved Iranian poet Baktash Abtin after prison officials deliberately denied him needed medical care even after he fell ill with COVID. On January 12, after sitting in for five days, at least six political prisoners in Ward 8 of Evin Prison went on hunger strike to protest “the role of prison officials in Baktash Abtin’s death,” and to demand an investigation and apology.

"The International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners Now (IEC) gives our full, heartfelt support to Iran's heroic political prisoners and others who are on hunger strike," says IEC spokesperson Larry Everest. "They are risking their lives fighting for freedom and justice for all political prisoners, and for the Iranian people. We demand that the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) free all its political prisoners now!"

This hunger strike was triggered by the January 8 death of beloved Iranian poet Baktash Abtin after prison officials deliberately denied him needed medical care even after he fell ill with COVID. On January 12, after sitting in for five days, at least six political prisoners in Ward 8 of Evin Prison went on hunger strike to protest “the role of prison officials in Baktash Abtin’s death,” and to demand an investigation and apology.

On January 20, the hunger strikers issued a statement announcing that “a wave of support and an outcry for justice has begun for [Abtin] and other prisoners killed in Iran,” and that while the regime was transferring prisoners and abducting them to “unknown places in order to break this solidarity,” that “solidarity with our hunger strike continues in Iran and abroad.” (Full statement).

Their courageous action, which continues at this writing, Abtin’s death and that of political prisoner Adel Kianpour days before, and the regime’s escalating abuses against other political prisoners, including dual-nationals, has inspired other prisoners and supporters to join them. It helped spark a hunger strike (since ended) in Vienna where the Iran nuclear talks are taking place and protests as far away as San Francisco. (See #ChainHungerStrike and #HungerStrike4Life on Twitter and "Death of Poet Baktash Abtin Ignites Hunger Strike by Fellow Prisoners, Mass Protests in Iran, Solidarity Actions Internationally."

"All this underscores the reality that The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance—We Must ACT Now, as our Emergency Appeal declares," Everest states, "and the urgent need for all those who stand for justice and yearn for a better world to rally to the cause of freeing Iran’s political prisoners and to sign and spread this Appeal now."

Hunger strike timeline, Jan 27 update from @SoheylArabiii
The International Campaign’s Emergency Appeal: The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance – We Must ACT NOW!

This Emergency Appeal has been endorsed by over 3,000 people from 40 countries globally, including Shirin Ebadi, Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Gloria Steinem, Ariel Dorfman, Jody Williams, Daniel Ellsberg, Judith Butler, and Raymond Lotta, and appeared as an ad on the back cover of the Summer issue of The New York Review of Books.

It concludes: "We demand of the Islamic Republic of Iran: FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW"

"We say to the U.S government: NO THREATS OR WAR MOVES AGAINST IRAN, LIFT U.S. SANCTIONS"

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